Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

SecurityWeekSecurityWeek

Cybercrime

London Gallery Chief Quits After Israel Spyware Report

The head of London’s Serpentine Galleries, Yana Peel, resigned on Tuesday following a newspaper report about her links to a controversial Israeli spyware firm.

The board of trustees of the contemporary art galleries announced “with a mix of gratitude and regret” that it has accepted Peel’s resignation, adding that she would be “sorely missed”.

The head of London’s Serpentine Galleries, Yana Peel, resigned on Tuesday following a newspaper report about her links to a controversial Israeli spyware firm.

The board of trustees of the contemporary art galleries announced “with a mix of gratitude and regret” that it has accepted Peel’s resignation, adding that she would be “sorely missed”.

In a separate statement carried by The Guardian newspaper, Peel referenced a “concerted lobbying campaign against my husband’s recent investment”.

The Guardian reported last week that Yana Peel co-owns NSO Group, a spyware company based in the Israeli seaside high-tech hub of Herzliya, near Tel Aviv.

It has faced questions over its Pegasus software, which can reportedly switch on a target’s cell phone camera and microphone, and access data on it, effectively turning the phone into a pocket spy.

Security researchers believe it was used in an attack on the WhatsApp messaging app in May.

The company has also been forced to deny it was used against Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi before he was killed last October in Istanbul.

“The work of the Serpentine — and its incomparable artistic director — cannot be allowed to be undermined by misguided personal attacks on me and my family,” Peel said, according to the statement. 

“These attacks are based upon inaccurate media reports now subject to legal complaints.”

Peel said she was saddened to leave the role, which she started in 2016, adding: “The world of art is about free expression. 

“But it is not about bullying and intimidation. I welcome debate and discussion about the realities of life in the digital age. 

“There is a place for these debates, but they should be constructive, fair and factual — not based upon toxic personal attacks.”

Written By

AFP 2023

Click to comment

Expert Insights

Related Content

Cybercrime

Zendesk is informing customers about a data breach that started with an SMS phishing campaign targeting the company’s employees.

Cybercrime

The release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in late 2022 has demonstrated the potential of AI for both good and bad.

Cybercrime

A new study by McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) named a staggering figure as the true annual cost of...

Cybercrime

The FBI dismantled the network of the prolific Hive ransomware gang and seized infrastructure in Los Angeles that was used for the operation.

Ransomware

US government reminds the public that a reward of up to $10 million is offered for information on cybercriminals, including members of the Hive...

Ransomware

The Hive ransomware website has been seized as part of an operation that involved law enforcement in 10 countries.

Cybercrime

Video games developer Riot Games says source code was stolen from its development environment in a ransomware attack

Cybercrime

CISA, NSA, and MS-ISAC issued an alert on the malicious use of RMM software to steal money from bank accounts.